Mumbai: Days after 10-day strike by Bhiwandi powerloom weavers, over 150 spinning mills in Maharashtra have decided to down shutters on Tuesday September 01, 2015 to protest the government's textile policy and demanding uniform rate for yarns across India.
"About 163 co-operative spinning mills in Maharashrtra have decided to observe a day long shutdown on Tuesday September 01 to protest against the government's current textile policy and demand a uniform price for cotton yarns across India", Zubairi Ateequz Zama, Vice President of The Malegaon Co-Operative Spinning Mills and a member of Maharashtra Co-Operative Textile Federation, said while talking to ummid.com.
Zubairi said the decision to observe one day shutdown was taken in a meeting of the federation held in Sangli on August 25. The meeting followed after various attempts by the federation failed to grab the attention of the government vis-à-vis their problems.
"If the government does not take note of the one day strike, we will intensify our protest to force our demands", Zubairi added.
He said the federation members had also given memorandum to the Chief Minister directly and also through all district headquarters.
"Nothing has materialized in a response so far", he said.
Giving details of the problems the co-operative spinning mills are facing in Maharashtra, Zubairi said that the electricity tariff in the state far more than the per unit rate in states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
He said due to the differences in electricity tariff, the cost of cotton yarn produced in Maharashtra goes up by about 10-12 rupees per kg as compared to the yarn produced in the state like Gujarat.
Apart from this, the newly established cotton yarn spinning mills in Gujarat are benefiting to a massive scale by the government's new industrial policy. However, the benefits extended to these mills do not extend to the co-operative mills in Maharashtra, according to Zubairi.
"Our demand, besides bringing the electricity tariff at par with other states, is to extend the benefits of government schemes to the -co-operative sector", he said.
He also said that most of the co-operative spinning mills are also facing difficulties in the re-imbursement/refund of the VAT the mills have paid to the government.
"Under this situation, out of the total 163 co-operative spinning mills in Maharashtra, just 67 mills are running. Rest all have closed down due to massive loss", Zubairi said.
He said the 67 mills that are running are also facing losses but they are running just for the sake of labourers - the ultimate aim of the co-operative sector.
"Some of the mills in North Maharashtra have incurred a loss of 27 crore rupees in last one year. The losses incurred by Malegaon Co-Operative Spinning Mills stands at Rs.64 lakh, and it is the least in the state", Zubairi said.
Zubairi said the government did wonderful job by fixing the cotton prices by countrywide supply though Cotton Corporation of India (CCI).
"The CCI has succeeded in brining uniform rate of cotton in the country. This has immensely helped the farmers. In the similar manner, the government should also have a policy to fix-up uniform rate for cotton yarn. This will strengthen the co-operative sector", Zubairi said.